Essential Motivators™

Boost collaboration by better understanding what motivates yourself and others

Friction and misunderstandings in work relationships are constant drains on efficiency and cause frustration and problems. When individuals better understand themselves, they can bring their best skills and talents to their work, and collaborate more impactfully and enjoyably with others.

Essential Motivators™ provides a framework to help learners identify their core psychological needs, values, talents, and behaviors to better understand themselves and others, be more effective, and appreciate different perspectives.

Uncover core strengths and needs

Essential Motivators teaches an easy-to-apply system of four patterns—Air, Earth, Fire, and Water—that helps people become more comfortable with themselves and more collaborative and effective with others. 

To identify their Essential Motivators pattern, learners are guided through a process of self-discovery. In this process, they: 

  • Discover their superpower—who they are at their core and their special skills 
  • Understand themselves at a deeper level and how their core needs influence them 
  • Learn to accept others for who they are and what they need 
  • Work more effectively with others, improve communication, and resolve conflict

Delivery Options to Meet Your Needs

Essential Motivators can be delivered as virtual sessions, as part of a learning journey, or in a self-directed online or moderated online version, so your learners can identify their core needs wherever they are and whenever they have time.

This design is a six-week online learning journey with weekly 60-minute live virtual sessions that include interactive discussions and breakout sessions. The course is a rich, easy-to-understand theory of temperament that will help participants better understand themselves and others and learn to value and appreciate different perspectives. This design provides key concepts, models, discussion questions, practice, and application over a six-week multifaceted learning experience. 

Week 1: Getting Started – Discover the nature of the Essential Motivators patterns and how we express them through our core needs, values, talents, and behaviors. 

Week 2: Understanding Self – Learn about the four Essential Motivators patterns: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. 

Week 3: Clarifying the Patterns – Explore the patterns further through the dimensions of language, roles, and attention. 

Week 4: Stressors and Stereotypes – Discover how stress manifests for each pattern and how to reduce stress in oneself and others. Explore the stereotype side of each pattern that can influence the perception of others.  

Week 5: Understanding Others – Discover how people’s shadow pattern—the pattern least like themselves—can affect how they react to others. Identify others within each of the four patterns. 

Week 6: Putting It into Practice – Shift perspective and accept others for who they are and what they need, even if they are different from oneself. 

Online Overview with Debrief 

This design includes a 35-minute online overview to teach the core content, which will help participants identify  their pattern of core psychological needs, values, talents, and behaviors to better understand themselves and others, be more effective, and appreciate different perspectives. 

Digital Assets  

Set of micro-activities, including videos, interactions, and worksheets, that can be accessed in moments of need to support ongoing learning, performance support, reinforcement, and custom learning journeys. 

Understanding employee motivators equips you to meet their needs

When employees feel their needs have been met, they report a 30% higher capacity to focus, a nearly 50% higher level of engagement, and a 63% greater likelihood to stay at the company. 1

Understand Different Perspectives To Fuel Deeper Collaboration

The Essential Motivators framework was developed by author and expert Linda Berens, who has over forty years of experience in teaching people to recognize their strengths, transcend their weaknesses, and work together better.

Increase Effectiveness

Organizational effectiveness rises as people learn how to recognize others' core needs and work more collaboratively and synergistically.

Improve Employee Engagement

Helps people learn how their core needs influence their motivation, career satisfaction, communication, and problem-solving.

Boost Empathy

Increases appreciation for diversity and inclusion as people shift perspectives and learn to accept others for who they are.

Deepen Collaboration

Strengthens relationships and understanding of each other’s perspectives, building empathy and trust.

Client Success Story


Cascades Worldwide upskilling frontline leaders

Learn how Cascades focused on learners’ needs to deliver leadership development and improve business results.

Ready to Get Started?

Essential Motivators is delivered as part of a Learning Journey or a self-directed online course. Contact us today to learn how we can help your leaders learn the skills they need to be more effective communicators.

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